{ Futball meet Politics }

since I'm not insane about soccer but everyone else is right now and international politics are a little more up my alley, I thought I'd post links to a couple of the best articles that unite these otherwise disparate pursuits…

The Politics of Soccer :: Michael Coren, National Post

Losses, and the Losing Losers Who Hate Them :: Michael Agovino, NYT

In reading this last article I was reminded of a debate about using National Character to analyze international relations. My undergraduate professor David Welch once explained how unfashionable it has become to compare the personality of one nation to another despite the fact that one of the more popular of the many "causes" for WWI is based on such comparisons. Nevertheless while traveling for the past five months
(see a Hop, Skip and a Trip: Jake's Travel Blog), I was made acutely aware of the undeniable differences between nations which for many countries can be generalized usefully in a descriptive sense if not a statistical one (for an example see some of the contrasts between Thailand and the Philippines). One of the more interesting contrasts that my friend and host in Manila, David Da Silva, raised relates to the differing national personalities or psychologies of the world's call center giants, India and the Philippines. Here the contrasts between South and East Asians shine through clearly as the general aggressiveness and confidence of much of India’s population is in stark opposition to Philippino deference. As a result, Indians, David explained, make much better telemarketers. They don’t mind interrupting dinner and are happy to begin selling a product before “Hello” or “Good evening, Mam” while Philippinos innate politeness (see, for instance, the national addiction to adding the word “Po” a term of respect to the end of every sentence) and incredible ability to imitate foreign accents make them much better at telephone support. In fact, Philippinos are so good at imitating and telephone support has become so immersive that call centers now endow employees with accents from specific locations, say Boston or the Mid West, and supply them with newspapers from the area so that they can discuss the weather or the latest scandal with their customers.

{ Futball meet Politics }

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